My blood was boiling all of December. The newspapers were full of stories of rape and abuse of women all over India. It made me sick to the stomach. This was not the India I used to live in. How did we ever get here?
Most mothers tell their daughters to ignore bad behavior or to put up with it. Not in my family. My mom never put up with men falling all over her on the bus or sticking to her like nettles. She nudged them, stepped on their toes, yelled at them royally and even prodded them with her umbrella! When I got pinched by an auto driver, my grandma went straight to the cops. Many were afraid that the auto driver would seek revenge and pose a threat to me. But I did not buy that story.
So don’t go telling your daughter, “Men are like that only! Get used to it.” HELL NO! That leaves our daughters powerless and at the mercy of lecherous men. My generation put up with eve teasing and groping and the present generation has to put up with rape? No can do!
Animals resort to two types of behavior when threatened. Fight or flee. I think as women we have done enough fleeing. The time has come to fight. We are not weak and powerless. What we lack in brute strength we make up for in our keen sense of intuition and our power in numbers. Every girl should learn self-defense. Carry mace or pepper spray. If you are a target don’t let the incident scare you out of seeking justice. Fight till your last breath and get all the support you need. This is where power in numbers shows up to your advantage.
I’m against the eye-for-an-eye-and-tooth-for-a-tooth policy. But the perpetrators of such heinous crimes can only be categorized as beasts. So if we can castrate pets who go berserk when in heat, why not castrate these insane men who think they can satisfy their urges by attacking the first female form they see. Makes sense to me and it seems to work in the Middle East countries. The crime rates are low because the punishments are severe!
Our defunct judicial system is badly in need of an overhaul. The victims shouldn’t be the ones that get humiliated and ostracized while the criminals waltz away. Don’t even get me started on the sorry lot that call themselves politicians or leaders! About time that our democracy spells freedom and a right to a good life for all – women included!
Until then, sisters, mothers and wives, brothers, husbands and sons come together to create the India of your dreams. Don’t wait for someone else to make it a reality. You have the power. Go for it!